On and on we push we will! There are yet still more seemingly similar problems that Borderline Personality Disorder shares with Bipolar Disorder.
#6 Difference and Similarity – Destructive Behavior and Self-harm
Borderline – I’ve written a ridiculous amount on self-destructive behavior with BPD. What it’s not, is an attempt to kill ourselves. This is something that it typically shares in common with Bipolar. For Borderline it’s a way to feel connected, a way to feel, a way to establish a connection to the world, a way to stop the pain or re-direct the emotional pain into a physical pain that we can control, or even a way to punish ourselves for something that we feel we did wrong. Then of course individuals may have their own reasons. This is the very short abbreviated version.
Bipolar – From what I gather with Bipolar self-destructive behavior and self-injuring behavior occur when individuals experience feelings of invincibility and being all powerful. They engage in behavior so dangerous or so extreme because they don’t recognize the extent of the damage that can be done to them. Perhaps this is during a manic phase? I feel like there needs to be a distinction made between destructive behavior engaged in during mania, depression, and mixed episodes. During depressive episodes I know for a fact that the reasons for destructive behavior and self-harming behavior can be for exactly the same reasons as the ones expressed by those with BPD. And when some with Bipolar is having a mixed episode they may be so depressed, yet so impulsive due to their mania that they act rashly and destructively in a way that is more personally destructive than they would have normally meant to.
#7 Difference – Impulsive Behavior
Bipolar – Impulsive behavior can occur for lengths of time spanning the length of entire manic episodes.
Borderline – Impulsive behavior occurs spontaneously and erratically.
I actually think Impulsive Behavior can be more dangerous for people with Bipolar, especially during times of mania. Why do you ask? Because when I get impulsive, I act on it, and then it’s usually done, or at least by the next day I’m usually done. When you’re bipolar and manic and impulsive… those behaviors becomes SPREES of impulsivity. Remember Friend? His wife bankrupted them, literally, because she was such an impulsive spender when she was manic. Maybe this happens with Borderline too, but not my particular brand of Borderline.
Maybe ‘more dangerous’ is the wrong word, but longer impacting depending on the type of impulse. Obviously if your impulse is reckless driving, then it only takes getting it wrong once to get it wrong forever fatally… but if you have long term spans of manic impulsivity your risk factor is exceedingly higher than if you are just occasionally impulsive.
Bah, who am I kidding. They’re neither is any good.
#8 Difference - Relationship Basis
Bipolar – The trouble that people with Bipolar Disorder experience tends to be less relationship-based. People who suffer from Bipolar Disorder often display cycles of mood which are more inwardly self-focused and have less to do with how they feel about the relationships they are involved in. While Bipolar Disorder certainly effects a person’s relationships, a person’s relationships usually aren’t what directly effects a person’s disorder.
Borderline – Well we know the exact opposite to be true. While there is some inborn biogenetic temperament for BPD, environmental effects and our relationships are what effect and shape our maladaptive personality traits and turn them into disorders. BPD is often described as a disorder of relationships and the nature of our relationships can be the thing the directly triggers our disorder.
#9 Difference - Dissociation
Borderline - Borderline Personality Disorder comprises both psychotic & neurotic thought processes. This gives rise to the name "Borderline" because it is thought to be on the "borderline" between psychosis & neurosis. The thinking and behavior of a person with Borderline Personality Disorder includes more mental departures from reality, known as Dissociation or "feelings create facts".
Bipolar - In contrast, Bipolar Disorder tends to be more neurotic in that the mood swings tend to be based more on extreme exaggerations of fact.
There is one thing that Bipolar and BPD do share in common though. There is still a lot of stigma and misinformation floating around out there. I can’t give a full account of Bipolar because I don’t suffer with it, but hopefully I’m not providing any false information.